At least 111 dead in magnitude 6.2 earthquake in northwest China: state media

Click to play video: 'At least 111 dead in China following 6.2-magnitude earthquake'
At least 111 dead in China following 6.2-magnitude earthquake
WATCH: At least 111 dead in China following 6.2-magnitude earthquake – Dec 18, 2023

At least 111 people were killed in a magnitude 6.2 earthquake in a cold and mountainous region in northwestern China, the country’s state media reported on Tuesday.

Search and rescue operations were underway in Gansu province and neighboring Qinghai province. The earthquake left more than 230 people injured, damaged houses and roads, and knocked out power and communication lines, according to the media reports.

State broadcaster CCTV said that 100 people died in the province of Gansu and another 11 in the neighboring province of Qinghai in the quake, which struck at a depth of 10 kilometers (six miles) just before midnight on Monday.

The quake struck in Gansu’s Jishishan county, about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the provincial boundary with Qinghai. The epicenter was about 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) southwest of Beijing, the Chinese capital.

At least 140 people were injured in Qinghai and another 96 in Gansu, according to CCTV and the official Xinhua News Agency.

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The U.S. Geological Survey put the quake’s magnitude at 5.9.

Click to play video: 'Earthquake in China’s Yunnan province kills 3, injures 28'
Earthquake in China’s Yunnan province kills 3, injures 28

State broadcaster CCTV reported that there was damage to water and electricity lines, as well as transportation and communications infrastructure.

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The earthquake was felt in Lanzhou, the Gansu provincial capital, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) northeast of the epicenter.

University students in Lanzhou rushed out of their dorms, according to a social media post that had images showing young people standing outside.

Tents, folding beds and quilts were being sent to the disaster area, CCTV said. It quoted Chinese leader Xi Jinping as calling for an all-out search and rescue effort to minimize the casualties. The overnight low in the area was minus 15 to 9 degrees Celsius (5 to 16 degrees Fahrenheit), the China Meteorological Administration said.

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Earthquakes are somewhat common in the mountainous area of western China that rises up to form the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau.

Last year in September, at least 74 people were reported killed in a 6.8 magnitude earthquake that shook China’s southwestern province of Sichuan, triggering landslides and shaking buildings in the provincial capital of Chengdu, where 21 million residents were under a COVID-19 lockdown.

China’s deadliest earthquake in recent years was a 7.9 magnitude quake in 2008 that killed nearly 90,000 people in Sichuan. The temblor devastated towns, schools and rural communities outside Chengdu, leading to a years-long effort to rebuild with more resistant materials.

Click to play video: 'CCTV broadcasts aftermath of deadly earthquake in southwest China'
CCTV broadcasts aftermath of deadly earthquake in southwest China

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